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September 23, 2022 - 12:03pm
posted by Press Release in Cornell Cooperative Extension, news, Stafford.

Press release:

Due to popular demand, we have added a second tomato canning class on Sept. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.  This is a hands-on class that will show you all the basics of hot water bath canning.  The Master Food Preserver will demonstrate both the hot and cold pack methods of canning.  There will also be a discussion on canning jams and jellies.

Recipes and handouts will be provided.  When the class is done, you will have a quart of tomatoes, but they will be too hot to take home that night.  You will be able to pick them up at the CCE office the next day.

The class will be held at the Stafford Methodist Church, 6134 Main St., Stafford, Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Pre-registration is required as class size is limited.  No walk-in participants, please.  The cost for the class is $20 per person.  Registration and payment are due by September 26.  Contact Mandy at (585) 343-3040, ext. 101 or stop by our office to register.  You can also register and pay online by going to our event page athttps://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/events.

September 21, 2022 - 8:05am


It may come as no surprise that the Community Garden in Batavia is filled with colorful flowers, vegetables and foliage.

That scenery, however, is a flow of artistry painted on each side of five panels displayed at the garden on MacArthur Drive. At 8 feet tall by 4 feet wide, the panels complement the 50 or so plots of land — dotted with colorful flowers and vegetables — being tended to by local residents and organizations.

Artist David Burke of Bergen was commissioned to do the paintings. He is pleased with the outcome and hopes that the public will visit the garden area to see them.

“I just wish I started doing what I'm doing 30 years ago or more, but just the last six, seven years I had a little more free time. I was homeschooling our kids for a while two years ago so I was just always kind of busy, but I just realized I loved painting,” Burke said during an interview at the garden. “And so about seven years ago I just got to do way more of it, and the more I do it, the better I get, and the more I enjoy it.”


Community Garden folks had planned — twice, actually — for an unveiling celebration at the site, however, Mother Nature, as she’s known to do on occasion, had other plans. Rain and wind forced organizers to postpone each unveiling, including a week ago. Jocelyn Sikorski, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, said that perhaps it will be moved to next spring.

In the meantime, spectators can view the artwork from the park side and the high school side. The project was grant-funded and the original idea was “to bring some art up to the garden,” garden committee secretary Richard Beatty said.


Beatty worked on the state grant application for $5,000, which was awarded through Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council in December 2021. The money was used for the purchase of materials and to hire Burke — through a committee application process — for 10 panels. They were going to be individual hangings, but discussions about strong winds and how to best place them resulted in five panels, with one mural on each side of tall wooden backboards just inside the southern fence.

The artwork took Burke about two and a half weeks to complete, beginning with one and then working his way down the line so that all 10 were a cohesive mural, as originally planned. A member of GO Art! and artist for both indoor and outside works at the East Main Street site, Bergen Library and Grass Roots, Burke’s muse was often nature — “we did a lot of landscaping and gardening” — he said about himself and his wife.


He recalled having done his first oil painting at 10, and that it was so much fun. As he grew older, though, it became more of an “off and on” thing, the 66-year-old said.

Burke has more recently gotten into abstract expressionism versus what’s in the garden: very large, colorful, unmistakable creations of nature. He wishes that he had taken more art classes at Genesee Community College, where he attended in the mid-70s, he said.

“I just really, really enjoy the tactile physical act of painting,” he said.


Working out the concerns of wind wreaking a little havoc with the artwork, and transfer of the garden from the city to Genesee County’s Cooperative Extension took a little time, Beatty said, but garden committee members are happy with the final layout.

“I think everything turned out very well. They look great,” he said. David is set up so that … they're a nice theme on both sides. So this year, you know, we'll see one side and next year we'll see the other side, and having a vantage point for the folks up at the ballgame.”

The painted panels are situated between a chainlink fence and an audience of pumpkins, vivid pink zinnias and cornstalks. Gardeners are planning to augment those with sunflowers next year, Beatty said.


Committee member and Master Gardener RaeAnn Engler appreciates the grassroots type of project the murals have become.

“The gardeners get to see it and it's colorful and it's cheerful, and I guess that's it. It just accentuates the garden, and in what we're doing here, and it's a mix of vegetables and flowers, and color. The garden itself is to see it when we first plant it is so it's so neat to watch it develop,” committee Engler said. “So far we've got corn growing in front of the panels, which are kind of, one could say they're blocking it, but others say it's accentuating it. It's just really neat how integrated it is.”

The city of Batavia was the original recipient of the grant since the garden was still under city ownership in 2021, however, earlier this year City Council voted to transfer the garden over to Cooperative Extension since it seemed more aligned with the Extension’s goals and Master Gardener program. That transfer has also opened up the garden and board memberships to anyone from Genesee County.

The Community Garden is “a very inexpensive proposition,” Beatty said, listing the prices for three different options ranging from $25 to $35.

“There's full water service. We have a whole bunch of master gardeners that are available for consultation for bugs and the various things that afflict one's garden. So the garden itself is great,” he said. “I have to admit, I was a little dubious of the whole artwork thing, but boy, it looks terrific. It really, really does.”

“A nice plus is to give David some more work … it helps an artist continue to be an artist,” Beatty said. “Sure, that's very important.”



Photos: Artist David Burke of Bergen shows the artwork he painted for the Community Garden in Batavia. The garden is on MacArthur Drive, next to the tennis courts behind Batavia High School. Photos by Joanne Beck.

September 19, 2022 - 2:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, Cornell Cooperative Extension, batavia.

Press Release

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Board of Directors meeting will be held
at 5:30 p.m. on September 27, 2022. The meeting will be held at the Association at 420 E. Main St. in
Batavia and is open to the public.

Any questions should be directed to Yvonne Peck at 585-343-3040, ext. 123.

September 8, 2022 - 5:45am
posted by Press Release in Cornell Cooperative Extension, batavia, news.

Press release:

This is a hands-on class that will show you all the basics of hot water bath canning.  The Master Food Preserver will demonstrate both the hot and cold pack methods of canning.  There will also be a discussion on canning jams and jellies.

Recipes and handouts will be provided.  When the class is done, you will have a quart of tomatoes, but they will be too hot to take home that night.  You will be able to pick them up at the CCE office the next day.

The class will be held at the Stafford Methodist Church, 6134 Main St., Stafford.  Pre-registration is required as class size is limited.  No walk-in participants, please.  The cost for the class is $20 per person.  Registration and payment are due by Friday, September 23.  Contact Mandy at 585-343-3040, ext. 101 or stop by our office to register.  You can also register and pay online by going to our website at: https://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/events/2022/09/27/master-preserver-presents-canning-tomatoes .

September 1, 2022 - 1:27pm


File photo by Howard Owens.

Press release:

Save the date! Saturday, Sept. 17,  from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Genesee County Master Gardeners will be hosting their annual Fall Garden Gala at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 East Main Street in Batavia.

This plant sale features hardy garden perennials, most grown by Master Gardeners.  Fall is a good time to plant many perennials as there is still time for them to grow a strong root system before winter.  An interesting selection of house plants will also be available for sale.

Don’t forget to stop inside for the Basket Auction.  You never know what treasures may appear, including unique garden art.  The Basket Auction drawing will begin at 12:30 pm.

Learn how to artfully arrange flowers fresh from the garden as talented Master Gardeners create arrangements and bouquets right before your eyes!  These beautiful flower arrangements will be available for sale.

The Master Gardener Helpline will be open to answer your gardening questions.  Not sure what your garden pH is?  Bring in a soil sample for FREE pH testing.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants at great prices.  Arrive at 10 am for the best plant selection.  No early birds please.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational outreach of the Genesee County Master Gardener Program.

For more information contact Jan Beglinger at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 132, or stop by the Extension office at 420 East Main Street in Batavia.  Visit our website at: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/events for more information.  Like us on our Facebook page for Gala and other Master Gardener program updates: https://www.facebook.com/CCEofGenesee.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County provides equal program and employment opportunities.”

July 19, 2022 - 5:53pm


This past year’s 4-H livestock auction contained some pretty lucrative creatures, Jocelyn Sikorski says.

The event raised “a quarter million dollars,” and included a pair of pricey foul.

“Two chickens sold for $752. I said, ‘how big are these chickens?’” she said during her report to Genesee County’s Public Service Committee Monday. “I’m excited and looking forward to next week.”

That auction was at the end of the 2021 Genesee County Fair, and, as a result of the pandemic, organizers had opted to go another way with a hybrid model. Sikorski, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee, believes that was key to offering bidders more flexibility to view the animals and bid on them, versus only being able to attend in person at a particular time and date.

“When COVID hit … in 2020 we had to go completely online for the auction, and our auctioneers were able to work with us and do that. So last year, we did a hybrid. Bidding started and people could actually see the livestock online prior, and start putting in their bids,” she said. “And (the auctioneer) actually operated it both live and virtual last year during the event, and I think that really boosted us.”

There was no fair in 2019, and Sikorski also believes that “people wanted to be back out in the community and supporting what was going on in Genesee County, and, really, the county fair last year was the first really big event.”

Before the pandemic, the auction was done in person at the fairgrounds on Route 5. After the success of this past one, the auction will once again be offered in hybrid form, Sikorski said.


The 4-H Market Animal Auction Program allows youth to raise poultry, beef steers, dairy steers, hogs, lambs, and goats for the purpose of selling in the auction at the fair, her report states. Youth gain hands-on experience raising animals while learning important life skills, and the program is “highly supported by local businesses and families,” it states.

Gross sales were “record-breaking,” with a total of $256,723.50 that came from the sale of 35 beef steers, four dairy steers, 16 goats, 52 hogs, 12 lambs and 36 pairs of meat chickens. A 4 percent commission is kept by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee to cover costs incurred with the program, and the remainder goes to the youth participants, she said.

Organizers are anticipating strong participation in 4-H during this year’s fair, and a new cycle will begin on Oct. 1.

The participation of kids with hogs, dairy steers and goats has increased from 2021, and the program is expanding to include rabbits this year. Entries include 79 hogs from 39 youth, which is the largest category of animals in 2022. Participation numbers for hogs, dairy steers and goats are increased from 2021, with beef, lambs and chickens remaining level. The program is expanding to include market rabbits this year, according to Sikorski’s report.

The live auction is to begin at 6:30 p.m. July 28 at the main show ring. To check it out online, go to 4-H Auction   


The fair, hosted by Genesee County Agricultural Society, runs from Saturday through July 30, with pre-event horse shows from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and fair queen pageant at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 22. Daily offerings include a balloon display and demonstration, pig racing, pony rides, Niagara Down Under, chain saw carving, radio-controlled car races and Johnny Muttville Comix.

Music entertainment includes Savage Cabbage on July 23, Wail-On Tribute to Waylon Jennings on July 24, karaoke on July 25 and 26, and Audibull on July 30. Many other attractions include a small fry tractor pull, racing at Genesee Speedway, a midway of rides, and many 4-H animal shows.

For the schedule and other details, go to Genesee County Fair or call the "Fair Phone" at (585) 344-2424.

In other news, Sikorski said that the Ag in the Classroom is becoming a “strong and powerful program,” with four public — Batavia, Elba, Byron-Bergen and Oakfield-Alabama — and one parochial -- St. Joe’s — school districts participating.

“I’m glad to hear it’s coming back,” Legislator Marianne Clattenburg said. “The kids really liked that program.”

File photos by Howard Owens.

May 9, 2022 - 4:46pm
posted by Press Release in Cornell Cooperative Extension, business, agriculture.


Press release:

If you are looking for resources for producing and marketing livestock, then visit the NEW Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Livestock Program Work Team website https://www.ccelivestock.com.

The CCE Livestock Program Work Team recognized New York livestock producers’ need to have a trustworthy central location for all things livestock and developed the website in response. The website is organized into themes based on species and information can be found on a variety of production topics including breeding and reproduction, nutrition, and health as well as marketing.

“Our goal is to continue adding resources and have it be the go-to place for workshops, training, and webinar recordings”, states Nancy Glazier, Regional Small Farms/Livestock Specialist.

Dana M. Havas, Ag Team Leader from CCE Cortland, expressed, “It is exciting to have extension livestock experts from all over the state working together to develop a robust and valuable collection of resources for our communities.”

As the website grows we look forward to hearing how you use the website and invite you to tell us what you think by contacting the website administrator https://www.ccelivestock.com/contact-us.

The CCE Livestock Program Work Team is comprised of educators working to build a collaborative network of experts and resources to foster the success of livestock farms across New York State. Find your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office here, https://cals.cornell.edu/cornell-cooperative-extension/local-offices.

March 25, 2022 - 4:57pm
posted by Press Release in agriculture, Cornell Cooperative Extension, business.

Press release:

The Equine Subgroup of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Livestock Program Work Team is hosting a 3-part nutrition webinar series. Each presentation will be held from 6:30-7:30 PM EST. There is no fee to participate however preregistration is required. Each presentation has its own registration link, and you will receive a Zoom link upon confirmation of your registration.

Wednesday, April 13th - Equine Metabolic Diseases and Common Pitfalls When Feeding Horses - Dr. Lindsay Goodale, (Lecturer- Cornell CALS) will describe some common issues we encounter when feeding horses, including dealing with equine metabolic diseases, obesity, gastric ulcers, and other challenging scenarios. We'll also discuss some behavioral considerations that can influence our feeding approaches. Register: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/HorseNutrition_222

Wednesday, May 11th - Pasture Management with Ken Estes, Jr., Ag Program Leader- CCE Livingston. In this session we will explore the best management practices to provide and maintain forage for your livestock in this case horses in a pasture. With topics including soil health, plant selection, loading density, mowing, dragging, resting, fertilizing, and weed control. We will also look at new trends in pasture design with dry lots and track pastures. Register: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/PastureMgmt_222

Wednesday, June 8th - Forage Analysis - The cost per ton or bale is not an indicator of value. Forage analysis will make it easier to match nutrient requirements for your horses. Join Sarah E. Fessenden (Business Development Manager, Forage and Soils- Dairy One) and Lynn Bliven (Ag & Natural Resources Issue Leader- CCE Allegany) for a discussion on interpreting forage analysis reports and factors that impact evaluation of hay quality. Register: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/ForageAnalysis_222

The Hold Your Horses - Equine Nutrition Webinar Series is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Part of the national extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. For more information on this series, call 585-268-7644 or visit www.cce.cornell.edu/allegany.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.

February 3, 2022 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Leadership Genesee, Cornell Cooperative Extension, news.


Press release:

Leadership Genesee welcomed 19 individuals from all walks of life representing our community’s public and private organizations, on January 26 and 27 for the 2-day Opening Retreat, held at Terry Hills. 

First-time organizations include M & T Bank and Warrior House of WNY. The class represents a broad cross-section of the community, including education, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, service industry, not for profits and the public sector. 

Leadership Genesee Director Peggy Marone said, “Today’s world must have leaders who embrace inclusion, listen generously and understand that it takes little or no effort to allow others to have their feelings and opinions. This kind of respect is missing in many conversations, it’s up to each of us to bring that respect back to our relationships.”  She continues, “Leadership Genesee believes we owe it to future generations to provide a community with people who are knowledgeable, able to have civil conversations about both sides of an issue and create trusting and respectful relationships!”  

The retreat was sponsored by Leadership Genesee Alumni and Terry Hills and was facilitated by Skip Helfrich of Human Energies. Leadership Genesee is a program of CCE Genesee County, an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, protecting veterans, and individuals with disabilities, and providing equal program and employment opportunities.

For more information, visit LG’s website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/leadership-genesee; “like” LG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leadershipgenesee; or contact Director Peggy Marone at (585) 343-3040, ext. 118 or [email protected].  Up next for the Class of 2022: Our Business, Our Economics on February 23.

January 14, 2022 - 5:15pm
posted by Press Release in Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Event Date and Time: 
January 25, 2022 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

The Board of Directors for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will hold its Annual Organizational Meeting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 420 E. Main St., Batavia. Election of officers, annual authorizations, and appointment of committees/chairs will be decided on at this meeting.

In-person and virtual options are available. Please register by January 20, 2022, by contacting Yvonne Peck at [email protected] or 585-343-3040 ext. 123.

December 1, 2021 - 6:05pm

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers this afternoon urged lawmakers to move swiftly on the financing piece connected to the construction of a new county jail.

Landers, speaking at the County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse, said it is important for the governing body to approve a bond resolution in early January – preferably by Jan. 5 or Jan. 6 – in order for him to meet the schedule he has mapped out to solicit construction bids by early March.

“Time is of the essence and to wait until the end of January is going to be difficult with a timeline -- the timeline that we're looking at,” he said.

He outlined several items that need to be done, including approval of the State Environmental Quality Review, drafting bid packages, awarding contracts and preparing for cash outlay until the bond proceeds are received in mid-April. He noted that County Manager Scott German has sent documentation to bond attorneys and expects to have the resolution “in our hands by the fifth of January.”

“If we can pass it then … it takes 60 to 90 days, and we expect it to get closer to the 90 days just because of the pure size (of the bond),” he said.

The county is looking at financing around $70 million via a 30-year bond. Landers estimated that annual payments would be $3 million to $3.5 million.

Landers suggested taking up the matter at the legislature’s 2022 organizational meeting on Jan. 5 but, after discussion, it was decided to conduct a special meeting immediately after the organizational meeting.

In other action, the committee:

  • Approved a special counsel agreement with Napoli Shkolnik PLLC for the New York City law firm to represent the county in litigation pertaining to generic drug manufacturers' overcharging of self-insured county employees and dependents for medical care supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Napoli Shkolnik LLC previously worked on behalf of Genesee and other counties on the opioid settlement, and is doing the same in this matter.

County Attorney Kevin Earl said the latest litigation claims that manufacturers have illegally price fixed or violated antitrust laws. He noted that Genesee County will not be responsible to pay anything, unless there is a recovery, and only will have to pay based on the net amount recovered.

  • Approved a resolution to contract with Direct Energy Business, LLC, of Iselin, N.J., to supply natural gas to 20 Genesee County accounts at a fixed rate instead of the current variable pricing policy in an effort keep utility costs in check.

The contract, if approved by the full legislature, would run for 16 months, beginning on Jan. 1, 2022. The change is expected to save the various county budgets around $9,000 during that time.

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding with Cornell Cooperative Extension for the county to support the agency in the amount of $385,484 for 2022 – an increase of nearly $47,000 from this year – and a contract renewal with Genesee County Economic Development Center to provide $233,513 as its yearly contribution plus an additional $25,000 for workforce training program administration.

Landers pointed out that the increases are for 2022 only and the total amounts are subject to change in 2023.

July 27, 2021 - 3:10pm
posted by Press Release in Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Event Date and Time: 
August 3, 2021 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Batavia - The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Board of Directors meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on August 3, 2021.  The meeting will be held at the Extension Center at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia and is open to the public.   

Any questions should be directed to Yvonne Peck at 585-343-3040, ext. 123.

July 26, 2021 - 12:51pm

Press release:

If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will be offering Master Gardener training this fall. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting Sept. 7 and running through Nov. 16.

There will also be a full day of classes on Saturday, Oct. 23. We are currently planning to hold classes in-person at the CCE Genesee office, 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

Each class will focus on a different horticulture topic throughout the training. Some of the topics to be covered include: botany, diagnosing plant diseases, entomology, soils & fertilizers, lawn care, herbs, vegetable gardening, woody plants, pruning, fruits, perennials, annuals, integrated pest management and organic gardening.

By attending the Master Gardener training, you will become a more knowledgeable gardener.

Anyone interested in learning more about gardening may attend the course. Preregistration by Aug. 24 is required. Class size will be limited. The fee for this training is $225 per person. The Cornell Master Gardener manual will be provided electronically.

If you have a passion for volunteering and gardening, this training is the first step to becoming a Genesee County Master Gardener volunteer.

Genesee County residents who graduate from the program are then eligible to apply to become a volunteer. (Other county residents should contact their local Master Gardener program.)

A Master Gardener volunteer should have a willingness to give back to the community and help put into practice what they learned at training. Enthusiasm for sharing their gardening skills and knowledge is a must.

For an application or to register contact Jan Beglinger at (585) 343-3040, ext. 132, or stop by the Extension office at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

July 23, 2021 - 10:19am

Press release:

Join the Genesee County Master Gardeners as we jump back into Garden Talk! On Aug. 5 at noon, we will get the lowdown on “Beneficial Insects.” Most of the insects that live in your garden or landscape do little or no harm to you or your plants.

Many of these good guys provide free pest control for you. Who are these six-legged allies? Join Master Gardener David R. to learn about the beneficial insects that could be in your garden!

Sept. 2 – “A Year in the Life of a Garden.” Gardens aren't static, they change as we progress through the seasons, and evolve over the years. Sometimes change comes from losing a major tree in the garden or a change in your lifestyle. Join Master Gardener Lynette S. as we explore the changes that have taken place in her small city garden.

Oct. 7 – “Winter Bird Feeding 101.” Do you enjoy watching the birds in your yard? Winter bird feeding can be entertaining for you and beneficial for the birds. Join us for tips on "setting the table" for your neighborhood feathered friends.

Nov. 4 – “Harvest of Squash.” Do you know what to do with that winter squash that found its way into your home? Master Food Preserver Catherine J. will explain the different types of squash, how to prepare them for use, store them for later, and share a few recipes for that bountiful harvest.

Dec. 2 – “Gifts from the Kitchen.” Join Master Food Preserver Catherine J. as she demonstrates some wonderful ideas that you can use this holiday season.

Currently all Garden Talk programs are being held online via Zoom, from noon to 12:45 p.m. This free series is open to all. Registration is required. A Zoom link will be sent to your email with your personal link to the event.

To register, please visit the events page at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County website.

July 22, 2021 - 9:50am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Cornell Cooperative Extension, agriculture.

jocelyn_web.jpgJocelyn Sikorski has no problem admitting that her first six months on the job as executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County have been an eye-opening experience when it comes to appreciating the value of agriculture in the community.

Sikorski, who spent most of her career in county government, notably as the director of the Genesee County and City of Batavia youth bureaus, said she has transitioned nicely to the CCE, an agency dedicated to agriculture, gardening, nutrition and food systems initiatives.

And she has been able to get out of her office and into the field (no pun intended) as well.

“I went to Blummer Dairy in Alexander, which is owned by Dave Patten (a CCE of Genesee County director) and his wife, Val,” she said by telephone on Wednesday. “I toured his farm with two of our regional staff and I also went out to Baskin Livestock on Creek Road, Batavia. That was so interesting.”

Visiting local farm operations and getting to know agriculture, nutrition and 4-H specialists and leaders have given Sikorski a new perspective about the food supply.

“We need folks to understand the importance of ag in our community. It’s the No. 1 industry in Genesee County, and people need to understand where this food is coming from,” she said. “That’s a big thing. You go to the store, but where is it coming from? Who is actually supporting our local industry?”

Toward that end, Sikorski said she hopes – in spite of decreased funding – to restore the “Ag in the Classroom” coordinator/educator position that has been vacant since 2016.

“Some of the things that have gone away over the past five years are a result of less federal aid and others, such as an “Ag in the Classroom” leader, are funded with county money,” she said. “Not having that is a significant loss to our community because it really is teaching children and youth about our agricultural system -- and that message then goes home.

“So, through this evidence-based curriculum, people can learn about the industry and why it is so large in the community.”

Sikorski said she and staff are hoping to reinstate that program as they draft the CCE’s strategic plan – a three-year guiding document that would take effect on Jan. 1.

“That is something that we are interested in bringing back; hopefully we can do that with the resources available or as they become available.”

Earlier this week, Sikorski presented her agency program review to the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee.

Highlights of that report are as follows:

  • Agency is in a good place financially.

Sikorski credited then interim director Glenn Simon with setting up a safety and reopening plan to enable the CCE to open for business remotely on June 1, 2020 to “reach the population that we serve.” She noted that campus staff will be returning to the agency headquarters on East Main Street on Sept. 1.

Budget-wise, the Genesee County office is “looking good going forward,” she said, reporting that the county legislature contributes $338,548 annually to its approximately $1.2 million budget.

“There are different funding streams and also revenues from some of our programs and services. Basically, whatever comes in goes right back into that program and to their expense line. It supports what we’re providing here,” she said. “The county supports our association as well as us being able to utilize our regional ag team.”

That regional approach is a key cost-saving measure for CCE of Genesee County. Through its Shared Business Network, the agency receives the services of information technology, human resources and finance professionals – sharing the expenses with other cooperative extension locations.

Sikorski said she is seeking someone to fill an administrative assistant position, noting that it is full-time, Monday through Friday days, with health insurance and retirement benefits.

  • Master Gardener training to begin.

The Master Gardener weekly in-person training program at the CCE office is set to resume on Sept. 7 and run through Nov. 23, she said.

“It will be the first time in three years. Last year, we would have held it (if not for COVID) because we do it on a two-year rotation,” she said. “So, having that training up and running again is great. We’re taking precautions where we will limit it to 24 people just in case any restrictions start coming back into play.”

  • CDL training is on the schedule.

Sikorski said CCE again will provide CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) training for the ag community. It is coordinated by Jan Beglinger in conjunction with Genesee Valley BOCES.

“We usually enroll somewhere around 20 to 25 people into the CDL program so that farms can have staff licensed property to operate their trucks and equipment,” she said.

She also mentioned that changing federal guidelines may negatively impact the program – a shutdown was supposed to take effect at the beginning of next year – but is hopeful of the continued partnership with BOCES “because this is a tool for our ag community.”

  • 4-H has strong presence at Genesee County Fair.

She said she anticipates strong 4-H participation at the Genesee County Fair (which opens Friday with the North American Six-horse Hitch Classic Series and runs through July 31).

“And we continue to recruit new adult volunteers to serve as 4-H Club Leaders to expand the program,” she said.

April 29, 2021 - 4:38pm

Press release:

Rain or shine, the Genesee County Master Gardeners will once again be hosting their annual Spring Garden Gala on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County office, located at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

This annual plant sale features a variety of perennials, many of which are from the gardens of Master Gardeners. There will also be a selection of house plants.

Plant sale starts promptly at 10 a.m. on the front lawn of the CCE office. No early birds please.

Visit the Basket Auction for garden art, gift certificates and a variety of themed baskets. Gently used garden books will also be for sale.

Our Basket Auction will be held inside the CCE building so you might have to wait your turn to check it out. Basket Auction drawing starts at 12:30 p.m. We will not be able to accommodate people inside during the drawing. Winners will be called the following week.

Drop off a soil sample from your garden or lawn for a free pH test. A half-cup sample of your garden soil in a clean container is plenty. Master Gardener volunteers will be available to answer your gardening questions during the sale.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants at great prices, plus garden art and other interesting items. Arrive at 10 a.m. for the best plant selection. Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational outreach of the Genesee County Master Gardener Program.

In keeping with NYS Guidelines, occupancy limits will be observed. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. We will be collecting contact tracing information.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!

For more information contact Jan Beglinger at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 132, or stop by the Extension office at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia. Visit our website for more information.

March 24, 2021 - 11:30am

Press release:

Join Nancy Glazier with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team for the classroom portion of the Beef Quality Assurance training Wednesday, April 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Here's the Facebook page about it.

Glazier, MS, CCA, is part of Cornell extension's Small Farms & Livestock team.

Topics covered include safe handling and use of health care products, safe animal handling, animal welfare and record keeping. Producers will become Level 1 certified with the completion of the class along with submission of required paperwork.

There is no cost for attending the training, but preregistration is required by April 13. Register here.

Producers may become Level 2 certified with the completion of the chute side training and having a valid veterinary client patient relationship form signed by their farm’s veterinarian. Chute side trainings will be held later at various locations. 

 (BQA) is a voluntary program supported by the Beef Checkoff that is focused on training cattle producers in management practices. The training is based on national guidelines and scientific research with the purpose of enhancing carcass quality and safety, thereby protecting the consumer confidence in our beef supply. 

If you have any questions regarding the program, contact Nancy Glazier at: [email protected] or (585) 315-7746.

March 16, 2021 - 1:48pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Classrooms throughout Genesee County are celebrating Agricultural Literacy Week March 15th through 19th.

Agricultural Literacy Week has been celebrated for the past 17 years as a way to promote agricultural literacy and learning to students across New York State.  

This year’s program highlights the dairy industry as the book "Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother)" by Viola Butler will be read to students. The book will help students understand the importance of dairy farms and how ice cream is made.

In Genesee County, 70 elementary classrooms and more than 1,000 elementary students will be celebrating Agricultural Literacy Week. The Genesee County Dairy Princess Program and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (in top photo) will be visiting classrooms virtually through prerecorded videos.

More information about Agricultural Literacy Week in Genesee County can be found by visiting the Cornell Cooperative Extension website.

March 16, 2021 - 1:32pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, Cornell Cooperative Extension, news.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Board of Directors meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23.  

Meetings are currently being held via Zoom and in keeping with Open Meeting Laws, Genesee County residents may attend. Please contact Yvonne Peck at [email protected] to register and receive link.

Any questions should be directed to Yvonne Peck at (585) 343-3040, ext. 123.

February 3, 2021 - 4:23pm

Press release:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has decided to transition the 2021 Soybean and Small Grains Congress into a virtual conference scheduled for Feb. 10 and 11.

The conference will be held using Zoom. Preregistration is required. 2.5 DEC Points are available and CCA Credits are also available.

Cost: $45 per person, includes both days. $30 per person, if enrolled in NWNY Team. Preregistration is now open on the NWNY Team’s website, https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/.

Registration closes Feb. 8.

Topics to be discussed include:

Feb. 10 (10 a.m. - noon) DEC Check-in: 9:30 - 9:55 a.m.

  • 10 - 10:30  a.m.   Soybean Weed Control Updates

                             Michael Hunter, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NNY Team

  • 10:30 - 11 a.m.   Precision Planting Wheat

                              Dennis Pennington, Wheat Systems Specialist, Michigan State University

  • 11 - 11:30 a.m.   How to Grow 140 Bushel Wheat

                             Dwight Bartle, Wheat Producer, Brown City, Michigan

  • 11:30 a.m. - noon   Soybean Cyst Nematode - Tracking and Managing the New Threat to NY Soybean Production

                             Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Program, Cornell University 

Feb. 11 (10 a.m. - noon) DEC Check-in: 9:30 - 9:55 a.m.

  • 10 - 11 a.m.     Getting Your Best Soybean and Wheat Yields

                             Dr. Shawn Conley, Soybean & Wheat Specialist, University of Wisconsin

  • 11 - 11:30 a.m.    On-farm Soybean Research Networks: What are We Learning?

                             Del Voight, Soybean Specialist, Penn State Extension

  • 11:30 a.m. - noon     NY Small Grains Updates

                             Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NWNY Team

To view the full conference agenda and to register online, visit : https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/  

Questions, contact: Brandie Waite at: (585) 343-3040, ext. 138

The Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team is a partnership between Cornell University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations serving dairy, livestock, and field crop farm businesses and supporting industries in these nine northwest New York counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming.

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